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1947 – Hudson Hall

Acquired through State and Federal funding, Hudson Hall was moved from the Kaiser ship building operation at Vancouver, Washington. It opened in 1947 to house veterans of World War II attending school on the G.I. Bill. This campus ghost stood where the mall is today.

Following World War II, colleges across the country prepared for a large influx of single and married veterans taking advantage of the G.I. Bill. With federal and state assistance, Cheney met the need through war surplus trailers and buildings. The post-war expansion that began with Trailerville added Hudson Hall in late 1946.

The origin of the name “Hudson House” is still a mystery. These large wood-framed apartment buildings, called Hudson houses, were erected early in the war by Kaiser at their Vancouver, Washington shipyard. At the shipyard, a typical Hudson House was home to 36 to 40 single men. As a dormitory for the college, initial plans ranged from 386 to 500 single men.

In September 1946, Eastern Washington College awarded a contract to Nettletson & Baldwin of Seattle in the amount of $236,500 to move the large, five-wing, Hudson house from Vancouver and set it up. The cost of “knocking down” the structure into panels and moving it to Cheney was $230,000, construction of foundations was $19,000, and an item for overtime of $7,500 was included to assure the completion of two wings within 60 days, or by November 15, 1946. The entire job was to be finished by January 1, 1947.

building with trees and shrubs
Hudson House 1955

The dormitory was erected on campus about where the central mall is today at the ghost of the intersection of F and 9th streets. The site was formerly the PE (Physical Education) field. It was next to Trailerville and a dining hall that had been the mess hall at Baxter General Hospital in Spokane.

Hudson Hall was divided in 1958 between single and married students. The eastern half of the building became Garry Hall, with seven apartments for married students. The entire building was demolished in the late 1960s.

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6 Responses

  1. I have just become aware of “Hudson Houses.” Montana State College (now University) received one of these in 1946, a . What other information do you have in the dismantling, shipping and reconstruction? Were they originally built as prefabs? Would you have pictures of their re-assembly? Any other information?
    Thanks,
    Richard Brown
    Bozeman

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